The relevance of culture and nation is getting more and more important in a globalised world, a top RSS leader has said, emphasising that the key factor for a real globalisation to take place is the universal consciousness of tolerance, mutual respect and acceptance.
RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale told a Washington audience Tuesday that India’s contribution to globalisation had been through Vedanta.
“Culture and nation and their relevance even in a globalised world are more and they are getting more and more important,” Hosabale said in a major policy speech on “Role of Culture and Nation in a Globalised World – An Indian Perspective”.
“For a real globalisation to take place this universal consciousness – tolerance, respect and acceptance on the basis of strong human cultural values – (is the key)…If these things are underlined and strengthened then economic globalisation will not be a threat. Otherwise such globalisation will destroy all that is achieved for human kind since times immemorial,” Hosabale said.
He said when globalisation was introduced in the fields of economy and communication technology, the perception or the anticipation was that a globalised world will diffuse the strength of culture and relevance of nations.
“Contrary to this perception, the relevance of nations and the strength of culture are there to see and experience for all,” the RSS leader said at event organised by the US-based India-centric think tank, Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies(FFIDS).
The event was chaired by Walter Anderson, Senior Adjunct Professor of South Asia Studies at Johns Hopkins.
Noting that a certain degree of uniformity and hominisation has taken place, Hosabale said the challenge of globalisation was its propensity towards hominisation, bringing about artificial unity through uniformity.
At the same time, aspects of globalisation like the interconnectedness and communication technologies have helped in creating a new-found awareness of the original culture, he said.
Hosbale said while the dominant nations had indulged in cultural hegemony in globalisation, India was different.
He said while exchange of ideas and commodities, hybridisation of both had gone on for centuries, India’s cultural footprint in Southeast Asia was an example where “we did not enter through coercion, but through a process of osmosis and developed a sense of family”.
He said in the context of globalisation, dominant nations impose their cultural agendas through various channels.
“While it went through an unchallenged phase, such an imposition is no more unchallenged,” he told the audience.
Many communities across the world, because of the new found awareness of cultural origins and roots, are now challenging this homogenisation of cultural agendas and impositions.
Colonisation is also based on commercial and cultural hegemony, he said, adding that the fight for decolonisation has also resulted in cultural recovery of identity.
Neo colonization and new imperialism are essentially based on cultural hegemony and exploitation of local resources, he said.
Indian approach through culture and soft power has attracted interest, as its approach is soft, respecting local tradition, live and let live, tolerance, mutual respect and acceptance, Hosbale said.
Every community is not only important, it is also a sign of diversity and their presence and relevance are of utmost importance, he said.
“This is what makes India different from China,” Hosbale said.
India does not interfere with social structures, does not create imbalance where they have penetrated through cultural or developmental outreach, he said, adding that this approach stems from civilisational wisdom and experience.
“In a globalising world this is a very crucial approach for creating a large network and universal acceptability,” he said.
Indian approach is that the same divinity is present everywhere, that one consciousness irrespective of cultural and civilisational differences of humankind, exists everywhere, Hosbale said.
“We conceived this idea and realised its truth in India many years ago,” he said.
That atma is infinite, invisible, that concept would inspire modern effort towards globalisation, then it will become an accomplished fact, globalisation will bring international peace, international co-operation, international understanding, he said.
“Without that, the present day concept merely at the technology and economic level will lead to the exploitation of the weak by the strong, creating uniformity without achieving unity. This should not happen,” he said.
“Why not fill up the situation today with something basic, something profound, something inspirable. That is what India contributes to the concept of globalisation, through our Vedant,” he said.